I’m an Insecure Stock Photo of a Vaccine Vial, and This Is My Moment to Shine

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It’s never been easy being a vaccine-vial stock photo.

Deep inside, I always doubted whether I had anything to offer. Sure, I hoped that one day I might be as valuable to the world as Roasted Coffee Beans Spilling from a Burlap Sack. I wondered whether I could make the same kind of contribution to society as Happy Family Eating Italian Food in Garden. Mostly, though, I felt like a big zero.

On the morning of my photo shoot, a bearded guy with a camera arrived and said, “Vials? Fuck my life.” I couldn’t even cheer up when they brought in Hypodermic Needle and posed us for various action shots. Because I knew the truth. In the social strata of Shutterstock, I was a D-lister—the Stephen Baldwin of stock photos.

I’d never become a star like Business Meeting in an Open-Plan Office. Hell, I’d never reach even the middling heights of Nurse Teaching Young Patient How to Use Stethoscope on a Teddy Bear. At my gloomiest, sometimes I’d just sit there, my glass getting foggy while I thought about Two Farmers Shaking Hands in a Field with a Tractor in the Background (the Alec Baldwin of image downloads). “Fuck you, amicable farmers,” I’d mutter to myself. “Choke on a soybean.”

But that’s all in the past. My stock (pun intended) is skyrocketing, and it’s finally my moment to shine, bitches. How do you like me now, Man on Park Bench with Laptop? No one’s interested in illustrating a piece about the gig economy anymore, because there’s a global pandemic going on, if you haven’t heard. As for you, Banker Bros High-Fiving, no one wants to see your skin-on-skin contact, you infectious capitalists.

Editors, Pinterest moms, hipster influencers, even anti-vaxxers looking to jazz up their Plandemic posts—they’re all chasing me now. Hear that, Woman Eating a Salad and Laughing? The joke’s on you.

I don’t want to be smug, but do you contain life-saving medicine, Rustic Lantern on Elegant Table Set for a Beach Wedding? No, you don’t—you’re just a glorified receptacle for wax, whereas I’m a one-inch vessel of human salvation. And you can suck it, too, Solar Panels Glittering Against Deep-Blue Sky.

I apologize for my outburst. I promised myself that I’d never turn into an asshole like Abundance of Raspberries. Yet here I am, fame inflating my ego like Active Senior Couple Speed-Walking. What have I become? If I’m not careful, I’ll turn into a psychopath like Colored Pencils Arranged in a Circle. (Trust me, you never want to get in a layout with that guy.)

No, I won’t let myself be a narcissistic dipstick like Plaid Blanket Thrown Over Back of Adirondack Chair Near Still Lake. After all my years as a loser, I vow to detach my sense of self-worth from success and be more like Three Flight Attendants in Matching Uniforms Walking Through Terminal with Rolling Luggage. Who knows? Maybe if I get my act together, I can even impress Human Heart Made of Fruits and Vegetables. A stock photo can dream.

Whew! I really did some important work on myself today. You know who’s never going to do that work? Extreme Closeup of a Butterfly—that’s who. You’ll never get genuine self-reflection from Woman Doing Yoga Pose on Mountaintop, either. What a pair of performative creeps.

Oops. I regressed right back into my bullshit, didn’t I? As if I could really heal myself. Let’s be honest. Each of us is but a fragile representation of our authentic self, longing to be seen and loved. Maybe there’s no escaping the struggle. Maybe, in the end, we’re all just a bunch of Dried Red Chili Peppers in a Blue Ceramic Bowl, knowing we’ll never be enough, no matter how much we try to photoshop the truth.

#Insecure #Stock #Photo #Vaccine #Vial #Moment #Shine

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